Hi there, I am very new and posted a few days ago as owner for a sit. Maybe this is not the right forum to ask, but I am new so let me know. I have had 2 applicants, and eliminated 1 due to fit/experience with large dogs. The other I am waiting for a response for a chat. My questions for all the sitters is what attracts you to apply? Does having no reviews yet impact your choice. When I looked today it said “low applications”, kinda made me nervous. Being new is difficult to get those first few under your belt. Thanks for the input.
Everyone on here has had to start somewhere. State you’re looking for someone with experience with large breed dogs. Post pictures of the bedroom and areas of your home where the sitter will have access. Be sure to mention how long your pet can be left alone. It’s not fair to post all the wonderful sites in the area for exploring, if your pet can only be left alone for 2-3 hours. What we look when we review postings:
- Location accessibility
Good luck with your search.
All the usual things -
Nice clear pictures
But the major thing for me is very hard to describe. I like a no nonsense listing, plenty of detail with good pictures. Short description of what a pet owner would expect, details of exercise requirements and medical issues, some description of the home and garden. Sometimes it’s not what’s written but the whole tone of the piece.
Some examples that make me jog along to the next one - pictures of dogs dressed up, calling them “my baby” or “munchkins “, lots of pictures of shared facilities but none of the bedroom that’s on offer. It’s so hard to explain but let’s just call it an instinct that I have developed over the years of what is a good sit for me and what isn’t.
Everyone is different and your sit will soon attract the right person to look after your pets and home while your away. Good luck.
Your home is too far away for me, but I just wanted to let you know, that it sounds lovely Your pets sound cute and also easy to care for, which is a perfect combination. I am sure, you will attract great sitters soon! Fingers crossed for you
For a short stay it does not matter much to me.
For longer stays (several weeks), I am becoming a bit wary after reading some stories on this forum. In particular, I would not like to be stuck with a pet that was difficult for me to handle. Or with other things that would get on my nerves.
I suppose it is the same when HOs look for sitters.
That makes sense. I have been reading lots of these forums and they are super helpful. I appreciate everyones input and time. Maybe I should post a short stay for when we use our dog sitter, she can not do longer than a few days, hence joining THS.
I agree with @pietkuip …I probably wouldn’t apply to a sit longer than one week if the homeowner had zero reviews. We’ve all heard horror housesit stories; I could put up with a bad situation for several days, but wouldn’t want to risk being trapped in one for weeks! I see that you’ve added a short sit for next month—that’s a great move to start building up reviews. Since your long sit doesn’t start until February, I wouldn’t worry; many sitters aren’t planning that far out yet and I suspect you’ll have no problem securing a sitter in a couple of months or so.
In the meantime, if you want to work on making your listing more appealing anyway, I’d suggest editing the title to something like this:
No Walks Needed! Sweet St. Bernards in Scenic Lakefront Sanctuary
As a solo sitter, I tend to skip over listings with multiple dogs, because I much prefer to walk one only—walking one dog is pleasant, fun exercise; walking two dogs is often a chore (paces don’t match, leashes get crossed, etc.). I believe many sitters feel the same way, so addressing that potential pain point in your title may garner you more interest.
I’d remove “Colorado” from your title, since the location is already listed underneath—you can make the most of the limited title real estate by adding information that’s not visible on the search results screen (such as the aforementioned “no walks” information, dog breed, car availability, etc.)
Lastly, I suggest cutting down on the dog photos. As someone whose camera roll was 90% pictures of my dog, I get it—it’s difficult to edit yourself when you have SO many adorable shots to choose from!—but it’s overwhelming for potential sitters who are browsing listings. On the THS app, once you swipe through to the last photo in a listing, the next swipe doesn’t take you back to the first photo; it’s just the end of the road. So if you want to go look at the interior pics again, you need to swipe in reverse through ALL the pet photos (a lot of people zip through the house photos quickly to see the pet pics, then go back to examine the house if they like the pet[s]). Right now you have 17 photos of your dogs; I’d say 4–6 are plenty, and show a variety within those—e.g. dogs cuddling together, dogs happily running in the yard, dogs interacting with you (helps to show scale), and one cute close-up of each. I’d also suggest removing the three photos that depict them in dog shows; that can give an impression of a fussier/high-maintenance type of owner (which the rest of your listing doesn’t sound like at all).
Overall, your listing is pretty great and I’m sure you’ll receive more applications for the long sit once you have a positive review or two, and the date draws nearer. Good luck!
My criteria are clear and in order of prioritization:
• Must have high-speed internet, because I telecommute.
• Timing (Even the perfect sit needs to fit into your schedule. Plus, sits that are too last minute often have costly airfare. I prefer sits of about one to two weeks, unless there’s a terrific location.)
• Location (If I don’t want to go there, there are pets to sit in countless other places. I have an easy time falling in love with all sorts of dogs or cats.)
• Whether the pets seem manageable (Don’t want to be overwhelmed, which is bad for the human and the pets.)
• Whether the HOs seem nice and reasonable and to see THS as an equal exchange (No need to sit for them otherwise. I look for tone in their listing, plus read previous sitters’ reviews if available. Also look for gaps in reviews in past sits, which can be a bad sign.)
• Proximity of the home to amenities (I telecommute from sits and spend much of my time in the home with the pets, so want quick access to supplies and food. If a HO does a poor job of describing the location and access, I’m skipping the listing.)
• Conditions at the home (Don’t want to end up somewhere dirty, cluttered or uncomfortable.)
Note: The “low applications” label is irrelevant to me, because so many sits have low applications.
I’d lean toward sits with good reviews from previous sitters, but they’re not absolutely necessary, because I interview the HO as much as they’d interview me.
As a sitter I consider the pets and their requirements, the location, the property I’ll be sitting in and finally how I get on with a HO once I get to chatting with them.
Great advice, thanks for taking the time to review and give me your feedback. I added and moved around some things. I really appreciate it. Thanks again
Great advice, thanks so much. All the feedback is really appreciated. And yes, so many pictures to choose from. Great insights. I made some more adjustments, I will take all the advice I can get. Thanks again.
I think your listing looks great! A few suggestions:
- it’s wonderful that you are providing use of a vehicle, bikes, kayaks and paddleboards. I had to read until the very end of the listing to understand this. I would put that information up front in the description of the home.
- I would also make the point about the dogs being able to be left alone for up to 12 hours more prominent in the responsibilities section. This will likely make your listing a lot more attractive as people will appreciate they won’t be required to take the dogs out every 4-6 hours, which many pet parents expect.
- Your paragraphs are quite long. May want to use more bullet points for easier reading.
Your winter dates may not attract as much interest. Skiers would be in heaven but the potential for snow plowing may scare some sitters. I have never operated a snow plough and would not have the first idea how to do it.
Great, thanks for the input, I’ll work on those changes you suggested. Yes I agree winter maybe tough but I want to have full disclosure for potential sitters so I feel its important to mention. Those who are willing to give it a try it would be in a real treat to experience our beautiful winters. Thanks again.
You’re welcome! I agree 100% that the disclosure is very important. Just noting that it may intimidate some, but they wouldn’t be the right sitters for you anyway. I’m sure some skiers would really appreciate the winter wonderland!
I am new to the site. We recently moved so haven’t got a local support network. We’ve had one applicant, who subsequently cancelled once we started messaging and 6 who have logged our sit but are unable to do it on this occasion. I understand that if they log our sit the next time we want a sitter it comes up in their feed. Happy to take feedback from our listing. Our dog is relatively low maintenance but he is a large dog, Labrador size but guess there is just a lack of sitters and we are new so no reviews😟
Hello @sstoneho - sorry to hear your sitter has cancelled. If you add your listing here then members can give you some feedback to help attract more applicants
Hopefully you can see my listing now. Seems there are 9 sits in Somerset around the dates we are looking for. Anyone know what the sitter/sit ratio is for the UK?
That’s great @sstoneho we can see your home & Archie now! So, a few tips would be. Change the title to “Relax with Archie in comfy home, with good walks & great local pub” or similar. Current one of Modern home doesn’t tell us anything to pull sitters in. Change front pic to the nice close up of Archie. Add a couple of the lovely plot you mention the house is in and one of the great pub maybe. How long can he be left for is good to know? Possibly a bit more info on the bus times etc to entice non drivers in (car hire is so expensive these days). Could you pick a sitter up from the nearest town when they arrive? What sort of dog is Archie to hang out with? How’s your WiFi speed for digital nomads? All that will help. Looks like a nice, easy, chilled sit with a cool dog near great walks and a pub to us. What’s not to like! Sorry we don’t sit in the UK. Pretty sure you’ll get someone with those changes. Best of luck PS there are more sits than sitters so good to be looking the best
I’ve been an active sitter with THS since 2018. I agreed with all the tips that other sitters have posted. But I do have one other suggestion: if at all possible, try to post your sit dates as far in advance as you can. We’re travelling from the Atlantic coast of Canada to long haul destinations. We’re now booking 2- 3 long trips per year using THS, since we’ve retired. We try to get our sits solidified 3-4 months ahead so we can piece together several sits in a row then get our airfares booked. So, as an example, we booked our 2.5 mth Australia trip in Aug for Dec trip, our Italy trip in Feb for July trip, our upcoming San Francisco/San Diego trip earlier thus Aug for November. I’m not sure what % of THS sitters plan trips like this, but I’m guessing there’d be quite a few.
Thanks so much for your input, I very much appreciate it. Have made amends. Just left to confirm the speed of my Wi-Fi